A Tool to Improve the Public's Health - Local-Level Health Information

Meeting of public health experts to identify key local-level health information issues

Experts in one or more aspects of state- and local-level health information met for a one-day meeting April 23, 2004 at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in Princeton, N.J., to discuss key issues surrounding the availability and use of local health information, the role that public health departments play in collecting and disseminating local health information, barriers that hinder its use and potential solutions to overcome those barriers.

The meeting was facilitated by Jeff Luck, MBA, PhD, and E. Richard Brown, PhD, from the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Health Policy Research.

Key Results: Participants concluded local-level health information can be a powerful tool for local user organizations to improve the health of their community's population. It can highlight health disparities within a community and guide local action in support of policy changes.

The results of the meeting were summarized in an article, "Using Local Health Information to Promote Public Health," (Luck J, Chang C, Brown ER, Lumpkin J) published in Health Affairs (25(4): 979–991, 2006).

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